How to execute the perfect Griz day
Ritchie Strehl, Fintan Nelson & Mason Selby
THE THURSDAY NIGHT PREP
Based on what kind of student you are there are many ways to prep for arguably the best college gameday in America. Either you are stuck at home on a Thursday night doing homework, or you’re a normal business student drinking at any of the downtown bars. Let’s begin the prep for the average business student. You finish classes Thursday after what seemed to be the longest week of your life, but you know Saturday will be the peak of the weekend.
There are many specials on Thursdays and I’m here to explain which ones to avoid and the ones to spend your nights enjoying. (At least 4 bottles of water next to your bed when you arrive home)
1) The Iron horse: What you’ll find here are 21-25 year-old college students that are either other business students or individuals that are knowingly putting cheap drinks and friends higher on their priorities than their 8am’s classes. The special reason for coming down to the end of old Higgins Ave is their two-for-one drink options. That’s right, 2 drinks for the price of one. Now you must know in advance that you will be receiving these drinks in cheap, flimsy plastic cups filled with even cheaper bottom shelf liquor, but who’s complaining? Also, it is home to the infamous “pork chop sandwich”, a must have.
2) Stockman’s or “Stocks”: This legendary bar/café has been open for years and welcomes in all kinds of interesting people. The perfect spot to watch some early Thursday night football while getting stared down by a homeless man (if that’s what you’re into) or in the wee hours of the morning dance away your night with 100 of your “closest” friends. A night here can end up being the best of times or the worst of times, so be careful when you’re using this to kickstart your Griz weekend. It hosts a variety of unique drinks including the “special”, Black Velvet (bottom shelf Canadian whiskey) and Coke, and the “Duck Special” which is vodka and blue sports drink. Any way you slice it, you are bound to have a headache in the morning.
3) Plonk: If you find yourself on the particularly classy side then this is the spot for you. This candle lit downtown bar is the ultimate settle down spot. From the upscale, comfortable seating to the matching jazz from the surrounding speakers, you will definitely feel as if you are among the city’s fancy folk. Try the French 75 and order one of the seasonal house salads, but make sure to keep your eye on the chef’s cheese board, as it never fails to deliver.
4) The Golden Rose: Chances are you’ve never heard of the Golden Rose…and if you have it is because you stumbled in there from the back of Badlander. Don’t throw the Rose to the wayside, as it has a special called a “Lunch Box” which consists of a shot of well whiskey and a tall boy PBR for $5. Not necessarily your 5 star establishment, but if you’re looking to get a drink or five and don’t want to be shoulder to shoulder with other people it’s the place for you. Give it a chance and it could become your new favorite spot to jump start your night, due to the bar’s ability to fly under the general public’s radar.
Places to avoid:
1) Feruqi’s: You can definitely find better bars in Missoula that’s for sure. However; Feruqi’s does have its known strong suits which includes fishbowl races to really turbocharge your Friday morning hangover. Or if this particular Thursday is your 21st birthday and you will be joining them for your special “Flaming Lambo” birthday drink. Overall, even with their specials you can find a better bang for your buck elsewhere.
2) The OX: Definitely more of a breakfast location than a bar, great tasting food but doesn’t quite have the same bar atmosphere of one of the previously mentioned clubs. However; you find yourself hungry at 4am then do not sleep on the Ox’s breakfast opportunities.
3) Fox Club: There is no cutting corners with this establishment, it’s a strip club, which you should try and avoid at all costs. Save your time and money and spend your nights at one of the downtown establishments we covered earlier.
The morning of a Grizzly football game is a time filled with food, fun, and football. There is nothing better than going to bed knowing that when you wake up there is football to be played. Waking up for Griz morning is basically the same as Christmas except you are woken up by mega phones and all the “presents” you get are usually alcohol based. Mates, sports, and beer what more could you want?
The first move of the day is to assess your situation: hungover, hungry, still feeling the effects of the Stocks beverages or whatever your body is telling you. You have two options when you arise on this beautiful day, either you go out and get breakfast and drinks, or you immediately give your liver what it wants. Both options require the most difficult decision of the day: bloody mary or mimosa? Whatever your choice, make sure as many as possible are consumed to ensure your body has enough juice to get through the morning.
The next step once you have properly started your “hydration” for the day is to make your way to the nearest tailgate that has food because you’re gonna need it; prepping and having a solid meal base is paramount for a long day of drinking. Just like your traditional tailgates there will primarily be hot dogs and burgers available at all tailgate spots.
How to identify your target tailgate family
This part of your process can be particularly difficult considering people don’t like handing out free food, especially to strangers. Your goal is to locate the families with huge tailgate spots that could feed an entire army. To go with the tailgate spot needs to be the typical mom with the stick on Griz paw tattoo and the 3 children that have already devoured a whole bag of cheetos. Tell them how much you love their $15,000 Griz airstream and ask politely for whatever they are cooking on the grill. Before the game is the best time to strike, because everyone is focused on the introduction of your University of Montana Grizzlies . Give the tailgate father cooking the burgers a high five and ask him how excited he is to crush whatever team we’re playing. Odds are if you bond with the dad the rest of the family will take you right in like family.
Congratulations, if you’ve made it this far you’re probably in the top one percentile of students that can actually make it to halftime. Normally, most students have gone home to sit on couch, throw on some Big 10 football and shove their faces full of chips, soda, ect. Having been woken up with a mega phone at 6am, most of you are probably needing sleep by this point. There are two types of people in this world: 1) the student that can power through and stay up for the whole griz football game, or 2) you’re an extremely sane person and need a nap like any other american at 3 in the afternoon.
After game shenanigans
There are two scenarios that happen here.
- You wake up from your nap having no idea the score of the game or even where you are.
- You powered through the whole game to hopefully catch a perfect Griz win.
Congratulations, you have completed a Griz morning and survived the day, and for that you deserve credit. If you survived you deserve to treat yourself, in whatever way you deem fit. A favorite of Ritchie it to treat himself to happy hour at Finn and Porter. The best thing about finishing the day is that the following week you get to fix any mistakes you may have encountered and eventually perfect the art of conquering a Griz football weekend.